James Lipton, the host and creator of “Inside the Actors Studio” has died at the age of 93.
Lipton died in his Manhattan home on Monday after a battle with bladder cancer, his wife Kedakai Mercedes Lipton said.
A writer and producer, Lipton joined the Actors Studio in 1992 and went on to create “Inside the Actors Studio,” a series of seminars for drama students consisting of lengthy one-on-one conversations with performers dissecting their craft and experience. The series debuted in 1994 on Bravo and featured hundreds of guests including Paul Newman, Halle Berry, Meryl Streep, and Robin Williams.
“Inside the Actors Studio” went on to earn 21 Primetime Emmy nominations, winning in 2013 for outstanding informational series or special.
Lipton left the show when it moved from Bravo to Ovation in 2019. The show employs the same format, with a rotating series of guests in place of a set host. In a statement at the time of the transition, Lipton called it “gratifying to see the legacy of ‘Inside The Actors Studio’ being carried forward for a new generation to appreciate and enjoy.”
In their own obituary for Lipton, Ovation praised the hosts’ “passion, dogged spirit, and indelible contribution to the world of performing arts.”
— Ovation TV (@ovationtv) March 2, 2020
“James Lipton was a titan of the film and entertainment industry and had a profound influence on so many,” Bravo said in a statement. “I had the pleasure of working with Jim for 20 years on Bravo’s first original series, his pride and joy ‘Inside the Actors Studio.’ We all enjoyed and respected his fierce passion, contributions to the craft, comprehensive research and his ability to bring the most intimate interviews ever conducted with A-list actors across generations. Bravo and NBCUniversal send our deepest condolences to Jim’s wife Kedakai and all his family.”
Lipton’s work as a writer included soap operas like “Guiding Light” and “Another World,” the Broadway musical “Sherry!,” as well as the books “An Exaltation of Larks” and “Mirrors.” He also produced a number of television specials and made a number of guest appearances as himself on shows such as “The Simpsons,” “Glee” and “Saturday Night Live.”